(For publication in Nepal by ChoodaMani Kadel and the Nepal WCPA Chapter, August 2014)
The World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA) sponsors, all around the world, ratification of
the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. If we want peace on this planet it will have to be an integral, holistic peace based on planetary democracy under the Earth Constitution. If we have learned anything in the past half century, it is that we are all connected. We are all involved with the same global ecosystem, the same global economy, and the same global militarized world of sovereign nation-states. We all share the same human rights and the same human dignity.
Right now Gaza is being destroyed by the vastly superior military power of Israel. Right now Iraq, Syria, and
Libya are in chaos of armed groups fighting one another to the death. Right now Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere are being terrorized by US military drones raining death and destruction on helpless populations below. A moments’ reflection shows that these are not isolated coincidences. The fact that there is war and destruction across the globe is part of a global war and violence system. This violence is part of a system of militarized nation-states, a system of militarized capitalism in which a few accumulate great wealth through the manufacture and distribution of these terrible weapons, and a system in which there is great scarcity of health-care, education, job opportunities, and resources for a decent life. Economic difficulties in Nepal are not independent of the global economy, and the poverty of many people in Nepal is systemically related to Nepal’s 3.75 billion dollars in external debt.
The single most important conceptual revolution that has taken place since the 20th century is the
conversion from fragmentation to holism. Scientists have understood the holism of our endangered planetary
environment. They have understood the holism of human beings: that we are all more than 99.9 percent
genetically identical with one another. They have understood the holism of communities, languages, social
systems, and economic systems. The holistic principle is unity in diversity: the diversity and beautiful differences among peoples everywhere can only be protected if we join together in the unity of world democracy.
This holism means that we cannot solve our problems piecemeal in isolated contexts. The destruction of
Gaza by Israel has deep historical roots that include much of the world. It involves other nations around the
world as the US government supports Israel and supplies three billion dollars per year in military aid to Israel.
This in turn involves global capitalism and militarism. If we want peace in local communities around the world, we must begin thinking in terms of a holistic world system in which grievances by local groups can be heard by impartial judges or mediators, in which differences are settled by courts of law not through violence, and in which everyone’s basic needs are met, making it much less likely that people will want to resort to violence.
The United Nations system, despite the fact that it does much good, is not predicated on holism but rather
on the sovereignty of its member nations. That is why so-called “international law” is not enforceable. That is
why the United States could invade Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 with impunity in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law. International law is merely a collection of voluntary treaties, not mandatory and enforceable over individuals by civilian police and independent courts. That is why the global environment continues to decline and climate change is already devastating many places in the world. Despite the UN Conferences on the environment from Rio to Johannesburg to Copenhagen, environmental controls remain voluntary for nations, and each nation puts its national self-interest first before the common good of the planet and future generations.
Given the fact that the world’s terrible problems of violence, environmental collapse, and shortage of
resources to address basic human needs are due to fragmentation and lack of holism, it only follows that we
need to convert our world to holistic premises. The most practical way that this can be done is through ratifying the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. In Nepal, this idea should be written directly into its new national constitution. The Earth Constitution can be found on-line in many places, including http://www.earth-constitution.org.
If we really want a future for our children and our planet, we urgently need to think in holistic terms: one
democratic world parliament making enforceable laws that end war, protect the environment, and address the basic needs of all persons everywhere on Earth. The only viable document that can make this happen is the Earth Constitution. Join our work and together let’s really make a difference for the future of our planet.
(Glen T. Martin is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Program in Peace Studies at Radford University
in Virginia. He is also President of the World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA).)